the taste space

(Not So Spicy) Red Lentils and Spinach

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on January 13, 2010

Now that I have moved into a small apartment, I try to declutter as much as possible. An easy way not to accumulate junk is not to start hoarding in the first place. This is easier said than done, as I am a self-professed hoarder, but one thing I have relinquished are my magazine subscriptions. I find them not very high-yield if I want to find something and they store terribly.. hence, I try to stop them from coming through the door to begin with.

However, one magazine that I love, and borrow from my mom regularly is the Nutrition Action Health Letter. It is basically the consumer reports of food, healthy food. It is published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an independent non-profit consumer health group promoting healthy eating.  I like that there is science behind their articles and they explain it in a down-to-earth manner. Articles range from cover stories that explain why whole grains are important, investigating claims of specific foods (ie. comparing yogurts with probiotics, omegas, fibre, etc), exposing how many calories can be found in restaurant meals (ie. The Keg), comparing foods  side-by-side consumer report style ala healthy (ie. the best salad dressings, oatmeals, etc), and providing healthy recipes. And as a Canadian, I appreciate that their Canadian version truly is geared for Canadians and the products on our shelves (they also have a US version).

This recipe was adapted from the January/February 2008 newsletter and I really enjoy its simplicity. I find the orange complements the red lentils well. Personally, I do not like too much spice, so I leave out the chili flakes, but I find it nice with the garlic alone. Certainly you could add more flavour with other ingredients should you choose.

This is my submission to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, created by The Well-Seasoned Cook and to Torview’s Food Palette Series featuring orange dishes.

(Not So Spicy) Red Lentils and Spinach

8 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp red chili flakes (which I omitted, hence not spicy)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups red lentils
1 cup orange juice
3 cups vegetable broth or water
10 oz. baby spinach
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large sauce pot over medium-low heat, saute the garlic, onion and chili flakes in 2 Tbs of the olive oil until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the orange juice and broth (or water). Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes (add more water if necessary).
2. Stir in the spinach and continue to simmer until it’s tender, about 2 minutes. Season with up to 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6.

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8 Responses

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  1. EC said, on January 21, 2010 at 6:46 AM

    Thats an intersting and healthy combination..thanks for the entry

  2. Torviewtoronto said, on October 3, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    thank you for linking this delicious dish never had like this with orange juice

  3. […] of lentils, ranging from ivory white, yellow to black. I have cooked with brown, green and red lentils, but I only recently tried the French green (du Puy) lentils. With this salad, in fact.  All the […]

  4. Magic of Spice said, on October 17, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    What an exciting combination…looks beautiful :)

  5. […] by Saveur on November 8, 2010 I have written about the Nutrition Action Health Letter before, which I describe as the consumer reports of healthy food. I used to borrow my mom’s old […]

  6. […] Orange Red Lentils and Spinach […]

  7. […] Letter arrived in my mailbox this week. I’ve written about this fabulous publication twice before, which I describe as the Consumer’s Reports of healthy food. I usually read my Mom’s […]

  8. […] few years ago, I wouldn’t add any chiles to my cooking.  Three (raw) cloves of garlic were pushing my boundaries in hummus. Raw green […]


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